Roberts spoke with Gregory Zuckerman about his new book, The Frackers, and the renaissance of energy production in the United States.

Use the prompts below to encourage conversation offline.

Check Your Knowledge:

1. Roberts and Zuckerman discuss the vastly increased output of natural gas in the United States and the potential for similar increases in oil production. Why has the impact on the price of natural gas been so much larger than the impact on the price of oil or gasoline?

2. Why is fracking easier in the United States compared to other countries?

Going Deeper:

3. About halfway through the conversation, Zuckerman and Roberts recount the incredible supply and demand story of natural gas. Try to illustrate this story in a supply and demand framework.

4. Recount the reasons Zuckerman suggests environmentalists should support fracking. How convincing is he on this score? Are there reasons he neglects to mention? What of the legitimate environmental concerns he notes? To what extent do the benefits of fracking outweigh these costs?

Extra Credit:

5. Zuckerman suggests at several points that the fracking industry would benefit from further regulation, yet he offers little in the way of specifics. What sorts of regulations do you think Zuckerman would impose on the fracking industry? How effective do you believe these might be, and why? What alternative regulations might you propose?